Black Knife Catacombs is one of the dungeons that you’ll find in Elden Ring as you’re exploring Liurnia of the Lakes. There are some tricky spots here and a couple of bosses, too. Here’s our Elden Ring guide to help you clear the Black Knife Catacombs dungeon in Liurnia of the Lakes.
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Elden Ring guide – How to clear Black Knife Catacombs and defeat the Cemetery Shade boss
The Black Knife Catacombs in Elden Ring is found at the northeastern section of Liurnia of the Lakes. There are a couple of ways to get here:
- If you’re traveling from the south, you can get past the swamps to reach sloping paths that lead to the main road.
- If you’re coming from the north, there’s a flaming tower — Eye of Sauron style — that guards the mountain path. You can use line of sight (i.e., cliffs or rock formations) to avoid getting the madness debuff. Once you’re in the clear, tag a nearby fast travel point (Frenzied Flame Village Outskirts). Then, follow the road and loop around the ravine with the Minor Erdtree until you reach this dungeon.
- Either way, you’ll see a Holy Knight Specter in front of the entrance (as shown in the featured image). You can just avoid it, then rest in the Site of Grace inside to reset its position.
Here are some interesting finds:
- If you unlock the Imp Statue dungeon, you can pick up the Rosus Axe.
- Continue further past the guillotine hallway and climb the ladder down. The sewer area has a bunch of crabs, and you can pick up a Rune Arc here. The other side is behind a barred metal gate.
Note 1: Because this is a catacomb/crypt-type dungeon, you’ll find several Ghost Gloveworts and Grave Gloveworts to help upgrade your Spirit Ash summons.
Note 2: This place is crawling with skeletons, so make sure to put them down while they’re reanimating. Sometimes, it might not work if your weapon is hitting a wall or an obstacle instead of the enemy’s model.
Now, if you go back to the guillotine hallway, you’ll notice that there’s a ledge up top. You can ride a guillotine to get further up and roll to the ledge.
Continue along the corridor until you see a dead end. Hit the wall with your weapon to reveal a boss room.
Boss #1: Black Knife Assassin
The first boss in the Black Knife Catacombs dungeon in Elden Ring is just like the same fella that we fought in the Deathtouched Catacombs in Limgrave. As usual, prepare for its quick attacks, including its annoying spins that will lead to a grab-and-stab animation.
Once you kill it, you’ll receive the Assassin’s Cerulean Dagger, a talisman that replenishes your FP/mana when you deal a critical hit or stealth backstab. You’ll also get a key item called the Black Knifeprint. To be honest, I haven’t found an NPC who requires this item.
Boss #2: Cemetery Shade
In any case, exit the first boss’ room and go back to the hallway. You should see a Ghost Glovewort (or maybe you already picked it up). If you look behind it, there’s a gap that you can use to drop down.
This takes you back to the sewer area behind the gate. Go ahead and pull the lever to open the second boss’ chamber. There’s another lever here that lets you open the metal gate.
Head back to the initial area near the Site of Grace. The door should now be open, allowing you to fight the Cemetery Shade boss in Elden Ring. It already has several skeleton mobs summoned by default, so you might want to even the odds with your Spirit Ashes that can spawn multiple creatures in one go. This ability could help distract the other mobs or deal a hit that will eliminate them while they’re reanimating.
In any case, you do want to watch out for the Cemetery Shade’s ethereal capabilities, making your weapon swings pass through. Likewise, be ready when its head glows green. It will fire a blob that will paralyze you temporarily. If the other mobs are alive, they’re going to wail away on you. Meanwhile, the boss will go near and attempt to bite you as well.
Defeating the Cemetery Shade boss in Elden Ring‘s Black Knife Catacombs dungeon nets you the Twinsage Sorcerer Ashes (summon). You may also open the chest which contains a Deathroot.
This is a key item used by Gurranq, an NPC located in Caelid. You can learn more in our Deathroot and Gurranq guide.